Gentle and Quiet Spirit

by Cynthia Jennings on December 21, 2020
I often hear the phrase “gentle and quiet spirit.” But what does this phrase really mean and what comes to mind at the mention of a “gentle and quiet spirit?” Do you envision strength or weakness? An asserted voice or a doormat? Bold or mild? When you hear these words do you question if you measure up?

Our society places a great deal of emphasis on the outward appearance and actions. But internal transformation is what creates a consistency in our outward behavior. Gentleness and quietness are not character traits that one is born with. These character traits can develop over time; however, they must be cultivated in order to grow. Cultivating involves feeding our hearts with the biblical truths found in scripture along with practicing the biblical truths found in scripture.

Cultivating these character traits don’t come easy. Thus, the test and trials of life are beneficial in helping to root these two traits in our life. Test and trials give gentleness and quietness a chance to dig and develop deep roots equipping us to trust in The Lord. As we trust Him more, we’re able to have an undisturbed and controlled spirit.

As we cultivate a gentle and quiet spirit, we are allowing God to work in our lives through the, test and trials instead of resisting Him.

To get a full understanding of a “gentle and quiet spirit’, let’s take a look at the cultural and biblical context.

The cultural context: Roman women competed with one another in the area of fashion. They placed great emphasis on elaborate hairstyles, jewelry and clothing. They used all their energies on their outward appearance and neglected their inner self. Imagine an exquisite exterior of a home yet the inside is rotting and termites are eating away the foundation of the house. What will eventually happen the beautiful exterior of the home will deteriorate due to the rotten state of the interior. No amount of external beauty guarantees a gentle and quiet spirit.  It’s the state of the woman’s spirit (internal)that determines and affects her behavior(external). 1 Peter 3:4 states that a gentle and quiet spirit is unfading and precious to God.

The biblical context: The Old Testament defines gentleness through word pictures described as: streams of water, the willingness to yield, the ability to lead and humility. Gentleness can also be described as a disposition and kindness prompted by love. Three words are derived from the Hebrew word for quiet: shaqat, sha’ar and nachath. These words convey the following meanings: undisturbed, at ease, and set on. The Greek word, hesuchazo, indicates action as one refrains from meddlesome behavior. Jesus’ character and actions in the charge to cultivate gentleness as a fruit of the spirit is demonstrated throughout the new Testament.

Gentleness is power under control. But the control is not based on self. It’s based on Jesus. When you think of gentleness, you should see Jesus. Envision the scriptures that talks about Him calming the storm, healing the sick and loving all. This is the kind of gentleness that changes lives and hearts.

Quietness refers to the state of our spirit. Is our spirit tossed back and forth by the wind and storms of our life and circumstances? Or is it steady, knowing it’s connected to God, who is immovable, firm, a rock, and refuge?

It is God through His son Jesus Christ and the guidance of The Holy Spirit that makes it possible to navigate through life’s difficulties with a gentle and quiet spirit.
PEARLStoPONDER: To have a gentle and quiet spirit is not saying what we want to say, no matter how much we want to say it or how true it is. It’s knowing when to speak and when not to speak and being ok with both. Don’t get caught up in what society deems a gentle and quiet spirit.

Psalm 46:1-- God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Mark 4:37-39-- 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.

Galatians 5:22-24-- 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

1 Peter 3:3-4-- Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.
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